Horror Review: Lumberjack Man (2015)

Lumberjack Man

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As the staff of Good Friends Church Camp prepares for a spring break filled with “Fun Under the Son”, a demon logger rises from his sap boiler to wreak his vengeance and feast on flapjacks soaked in the blood of his victims.

Director: Josh Bear
Writers: Josh Bear (story), Bill Muehl (story)
Stars: Michael Madsen, Hector Becerra, Jasmin Carina, Ciara Flynn
Release Date: 16 October 2015 (USA)
Runtime: 105 min

Josh Bear’s church camp version of Friday the 13th, Lumberjack Man is one of the latest entries into After Dark Films’ 8 Films to Die For series. From what we have seen with the recently revitalized series is that it came from humble beginnings to producing some decent films including romps such as Mulberry Street, but started to put out some average at best films that tarnished the brand’s name. Bringing back the series brings smiles to many a horror fans’ faces simply because it means more horror movies getting recognition on a slightly grander scale.

The synopsis of the film is that the slightly awkward staff of Good Friends Church Camp is preparing for a spring break visit from kids at the Fun Under the Sun camp. Unbeknownst to the staff, there is also a demon logger risen from his sap boiler to eat pancakes and kill campers. Got it? Good. There is not much enticing here based on the synopsis, but in actuality, Lumberjack Man takes some liberties with the silliness of the story and especially with many aspects of horror and religion and tries to have a fun time with the viewer.

As expected, some things work and most do not, but Lumberjack Man ends up being an enthralling fun ride for the viewer as long as they take the film with a grain of salt. The characters and their behaviors are unrealistic and way over the top just as you would expect from a story such as this. The acting is beyond ludicrous for the majority of the film, but as horror fans, this is not the first (nor the last) time we have seen this.

The acting is lead by veteran Michael Madsen playing a fun role as Dr. Peter Shirtcliff, a local doctor with his own issues. As the film goes on, we are treated to the lovely and vivacious Ciara Flynn who is simply gorgeous and fun to watch on screen. Not only is this beauty extremely easy on the eyes, she is able to have fun with the role at the same time.

At the end of the day, you will not confuse the quality of Lumberjack Man with any of the classics of cinema, but the film knows its role and sticks to it as a method of bringing fun to the viewer. Director Josh Bear makes a few missteps along the way, but as far as this being his first feature-length film, he could have done much worse.

Lumberjack Man Trailer